Do You Have a Favourite Ancestor?

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Probably one of my favourite ancestors is Rebecca STOREY (nee WEARNE).  She was baptised on 25 May 1788 in Newchurch on the Isle of Wight in England, the daughter of Richard and Molly Wearne. On 28 Apr 1809 at Newchurch, she married Thomas STOREY, son of William and Fanny STOREY.  They had six children that I know of, including William (1809), Caroline (1811), Thomas (1814), Helen Sophia (1822), Harriet and Charles (1826).

Thomas was a coach driver and on 20 October 1828, the following article appeared in the Hampshire Telegraph of Portsmouth:

On Saturday last, shortly after the morning coach had left Ryde, the coachman, Storey, was taken suddenly ill, and fell back on the roof quite insensible. One of the passengers then took the reins, and with the assistance of another outside passenger, the poor fellow was brought, between them, a distance of six miles to Newport, where every attention was paid him, but all to no purpose, as he remained in the state he was first taken, till he expired, which happened on the following day, leaving a wife and five children completely destitute.

How Rebecca survived with five young children is not known but by the census in 1841, she was listed as a Green Grocer in Ryde.  In 1855, she was listed in the Post Office Directory Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorsetshire as a Tea Dealer on Nelson Street in Ryde. By 1861, she had retired and lived with her widowed daughter Caroline Leek on Pier Street and on 29 Sep 1867, she died of cancer.  She was buried on 2 Oct 1867 at Ryde Cemetery, Plot 2825 in Ryde Cemetery and her tombstone reads

IN MEMORY OF REBECCA / WIFE OF THOMAS STOREY/ DEPARTED THIS LIFE/ SEPTEMBER 28TH 1867/ AGED 77 YEARS

When it comes to my female ancestors, I think I’m drawn to those who survived hardship in a time when hardship was very hard, especially for women. I confess though, of my male ancestors, it is usually the black sheep that fascinate me. Perhaps it is because I seem to have more than my fair share of these, or maybe because their stories are just so colourful.

Fess up, you know you have a favourite ancestor or maybe more than one?  Tell us in a comment about them and why they are your favourite.

Barbara J Starmans is a social historian, freelance writer and obsessed genealogist living in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada and has been doing genealogical research for the past 35 years. She is a graduate of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies in Toronto, Canada with professional learning certificates in General Methodology and in English Records and recently become an instructor for them with an intermediate course on Social History.

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